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Sheep - 2.  Good grazing & moderate stocking rate-continued for 3- 4wks after pregnancy - Proper embryo development  Mid Pregnancy-can be fed on low.

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Presentation on theme: "Sheep - 2.  Good grazing & moderate stocking rate-continued for 3- 4wks after pregnancy - Proper embryo development  Mid Pregnancy-can be fed on low."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sheep - 2

2  Good grazing & moderate stocking rate-continued for 3- 4wks after pregnancy - Proper embryo development  Mid Pregnancy-can be fed on low nutrition- to maintain weight  75% foetal growth during final 6-8 weeks- Hay/silage +conc (15%P) + vit/min mix  Steaming up –gradual

3  During the last two months of pregnancy, the unborn foetus grows very rapidly and the ewe’s udder development increases accordingly before the onset of lambing.  Because of this growth and development, the nutritional demands of the ewe increases also.  This is called STEAMING UP!  Because the foetus is growing so rapidly inside the ewe, there is little room available for the digestive system of the sheep.

4  Amount of conc. Should be gradually to a max of 0.5kg/ewe/day single and 0.7kg/ewe/day twins  Failure to feed inadequately pregnancy toxaemia  Rams don’t graze normally during mating-thin & weak – lush pasture & fed conc.  Ewes should be housed prior to lambing

5 1. What is steaming up? 2. Discuss the feeding regime for the pregnant ewe.

6  Lambing date should be known - records kept.  Do not interfere but inspect  Small weak lambs should be taken care of.  The ewe must be carefully observed for signs of the onset of labour.  The lambing process is usually straight forward and trouble free.  It is also important to have an experienced person on hand and to call a vet if difficulties arise.




10  Once the lamb is born, mucus and other discharges must be cleared from the nasal passage of the lamb and signs of breathing are noted.  The navel is then sprayed with a iodine to prevent naval ill.  Small weak lambs need special attention and are placed under an infa red lamp to prevent chills.  They are also bottle fed if too weak to feed for themselves.  Glucose can also be given to animals who are weak as it is a good energy source.

11  Colostrum is absolutely vital for the newborn as it builds up there immune system, is highly nutritious and is also a laxative.  The ewes teats are checked in order to insure that colostrum/ milk is being produced by the ewe.  Vaccinations are also administrated to help prevent many diseases.



14  Ensure lamb suckles mother  Maintain body temperature.  Glucose injections  Fostering crate



17  Lambs are ruminants so it is very important to develop there rumen. Hay/silage and concentrates are fed to introduce micro organisms into there rumen.  They are also given fresh access to water at all times.  Feed is very often fed to them in the creep feeding process which is where they are given access to concentrates, etc through a small gap in the fence.  This gap is too small for the ewe to pass through but small enough for the lamb to pass through.  When a lamb is born it weighs about 3 to 5 kg’s. They are fed a ration that contains 16% protein for muscle development to help them reach there target weight at slaughter of 40kgs in six months.

18  Growth rate depends on amount of milk produced which depends on ewe’s level of nutrition.  Early lambs (Dec-Feb) = hay/silage & concentrates until spring grass  Late lambs (march) = grass provides all nutrition needs of suckling ewes

19  As year progresses lambs graze more & growth rate become less dependent on milk  Creep feeding of both grass & Conc.

20  By the time the lambs are 10 days old, they will have access to a creep area for creep feeding.  A creep is a pen that is fenced so that young animals can enter but adults cannot.  Creep feed is feed given to young nursing lambs.  The lambs will also have access to fresh water, high quality hay, and minerals in the creep area.  This allows for the lambs to get the all the food they need but still have access to their mother if not properly weaned.

21  Tail docking is carried out in the first week of the lamb’s life.  This involves removing the lamb’s tail.  All lowland sheep have their tails docked / removed but some farmers just remove the ewe’s tails only.  In addition, all ram lambs not intended for breeding are CASTRATED.  Castration and tail docking are performed with the same tool – the “elastrator”.


23  This tool stretches a special strong rubber ring so that it can be placed around the tail or the scrotum!  This stops circulation in those areas and they eventually just fall off!!!  In this time (after lambing) the ewe’s appetite also increases dramatically and she drinks a lot of water.  Concentrates should be used until good grass is available for the lactating ewe.  Then precautions should be taken when on good grass against grass tetany.  Grass tetany is caused by low Mg levels in the grass.

24  Lambs sold before June 1 st continue to suckle until time of sale  Lambs being kept weaned June  Lambs & ewes are separated for 7 days  Ewes go dry  When weaned lambs & ewes MAY graze together  Lambs are put in good quality grass to keep them growing  Ewes are put in poor pastures- this keeps them from gaining weight & has them ready for flushing prior to mating

25  Lambs are weaned at 12 – 14 weeks old unless already sold for slaughter!  They should be dosed before moving onto fresh pasture, and then every three to six weeks.  The lambs should be kept on clean / good quality pasture all the time.  The ewe is placed on poor pasture. Why?  So that they are “dried up” and so that they will not be too fat when flushed the following year.  Vaccination of the lambs should take place regularly against clostridial diseases. (Initially after 6 weeks and then every six weeks)  Creep feeding should be used to feed the lambs.

26  Lowland sheep are shorn before the end of May.  If wool production is important to the farmer, then particular attention is given to the date of shearing and the shearing is done when the wool rises (weather dependant)  Sheep should not be sheared if their stomachs are over full or when they are in heat.



29  Two weeks after shearing the sheep receive their summer dip.  This is to prevent “fly strike”.  This refers to the blowfly or the green bottle fly, which lays its eggs in the fleece and maggots grow quickly.  Six months after lambing the booster injection against clostridial diseases is administered.


31  Outline the key stages in the management of the lamb from birth to weaning.  What is the purpose of sheep dip and shearning?

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